Eat Drink Better

Published on November 21st, 2009 | by Rachel Shulman


Holiday Binge Might Alter Gut Microbes

Overeating on holidays like Thanksgiving is more than acceptable in our culture – it’s expected.

Why not binge on mashed potatoes, gravy, and pecan pie?  Thanksgiving only comes once a year, after all.  Sure, you might gain a few pounds over the holiday season, but you have until New Year’s to worry about those.

New research suggests that the holiday binge might have a less visible effect than the extra weight around your midsection.  Switching from a healthy diet to one high in fat and sugar – even for just a day – might allow obesity-linked microbes to dominate the communities of microorganisms found in your gut.

The study used mice with transplanted human intestinal microbes to investigate how switching from a low fat, plant-based diet to a Western diet influences the community of gut microbes responsible for metabolism and weight gain.  Researchers were surprised by how quickly microbial communities in the gut responded to exposure to a high fat, high sugar diet.

A better understanding of the types of microbes that flourish under certain diets might help scientists develop probiotics that aid in the digestion of foods.

For more information, visit:

Related posts:

(Image courtesy of Sifu Renka at flickr under a Creative Commons license)

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (, friend me on Facebook (!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • Support our Site!

  • Let’s Connect!

  • Popular Posts & Pages

    Whether you are looking to completely give up animal products or just want to try eating vegan some of the time, we want to support you! Below, you’ll find articles answering some common questions about vegan cooking and nutrition. If you don’t see your question answered below, please get in touch with us! We are happy to investigate for you!

    Find out what's in season now, plus get plenty of recipe inspiration to help you make the most of every season's beautiful, local fare.

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Top Sustainable Food Jobs of the Week.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.